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What are Cysts?

A cyst is a sac of tissue that may or may not be painful. It can develop anywhere on the body, and is filled with keratin, dead skin cells, proteins and sebum. Many appear and then disappear, while others remain longer. Because it can be tricky to know if a cyst is dangerous or not — or even if it’s a cyst — it’s important to visit a dermatologist. With an expert diagnosis, you can get the best treatment.

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What Causes a Cyst to Develop?

Cysts occur for many reasons, including:

  • Clogged pores
  • Cellular defects
  • Stress
  • Chronic inflammation
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Common Types of External Cysts

Cysts are classified by where they’re located and what caused them. Some of the most common cyst types include:

  • Epidermoid cyst: A benign mass filled with keratin found on the outer layer of skin 
  • Sebaceous cyst: Develops when the sebaceous glands get blocked
  • Pilar cyst: Appears on or near the scalp 

Treatment and Cyst Removal

At Greco Dermatology, cysts may be drained or surgically removed if Dr. Greco determines that this is necessary. This may be for comfort reasons, aesthetic reasons, or health reasons.

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Can a Cyst Go Away Naturally?

A cyst may resolve naturally. However, if it doesn’t go away it may need to be drained or surgically removed. If you don’t treat a cyst, it may rupture and partially drain on its own, but this can take a long time. After rupture, the cyst may return. 

What to Watch For

The following could be an indication that a growth may be cancerous. If you’re experiencing any of the concerns listed below or simply want to make an appointment for a skin exam to evaluate for any lesions or growths, please call to schedule an appointment or consultation. 

  • A new growth on an adult that does not disappear within 4-6 weeks
  • A skin lesion that grows larger and turns pearly, translucent, brown, black, or multi-colored
  • A mole, birthmark, or beauty mark that grows larger, changes color, texture, or shape
  • An open sore or wound that doesn’t heal for more than four weeks, or heals and then reopens or recurs 
  • A skin spot or growth that scales, scabs, oozes, erodes, or bleeds for several weeks
  • A growth with changes in sensation such as itching, burning, pain, or tenderness
  • Any worrisome skin lesion
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Why Choose Greco Dermatology?

If you’re interested in cyst removal or simply want to have a cyst checked out, you’re in the perfect place. Joseph F. Greco, M.D. is a double board-certified dermatologist based in Sarasota whose extensive and unique experience drives the heart of Greco Dermatology. He is a widely respected physician who has spent the past 15 years as a Mohs surgeon and skin cancer specialist at UCLA. His dermatology practice focuses skin cancer and lesion clinics for skin checks, as well as Mohs micrographic surgery and excision-based surgery. If you’re interested in having a growth evaluated, we encourage you to contact us today.

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